I get asked many questions from clients looking to book a wedding photographer. The most common are price, package detail, etc but when a client gets past that and wants to know what they’re getting in a photographer there are specific questions most brides and grooms ask. Sometimes those questions are in an informal setting and there are times where I feel like I’m attending a job interview. In away every consultation is like a job interview because I’m there presenting myself hoping to get hired to photograph their most memorable wedding day. When investing your time, money, and priceless memories into a wedding photographer you should always know what your getting. Besides the pictures and the album your also purchasing a photographer. And that photographer either knows what they’re doing or they really don’t. Here are a 5 questions you should ask to really know what type of photographer you’re putting your trust into:
1) Who is going to be the head photographer on my wedding day?
A simple yet often missed question is whose going to be the main/head photographer during the day. Many photography companies have personel to take care of emails, phone calls, scheduling, etc so the person you consult with might not even be your photographer. I would recommend requesting a meeting with the photographer(s) who will be assigned to your wedding to make sure you connect with them on a professional and personal level. You are going to be spending the entire day with the wedding photographer so you better enjoy being around them.
2) As the wedding photographer, how do you prepare for a wedding day?
A wedding day is hectic in most cases with so many moving parts that any legitamate wedding photographer plans the wedding day before hand. Most seasoned wedding photographers scout the location days in advance, create shot lists, and even assist with coordination just to make sure the day runs smoothly with photography as a part of the wedding festivities. So if you interview a potential photographer that has no clue, be very cautious because you don’t want any added stress with worrying about the photographer on your special day.
3) Do you have backup photography equipment?
VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION HERE! Most brides and grooms don’t usually ask this unless they’re very prepared for interviewing a potential wedding photographer but this is something you definitely need to ask everyone you consider hiring. Every wedding photographer should at least have a back up camera because if the photographer only has one camera and it stops working then he or she can’t take anymore photos. Your memories can not be captured throughout the day and there’s nothing you can do. Well how often does something like that occur you might ask? Not often but you don’t want to be that bride with a cameraless photographer. UPDATE: The bulb on my flash popped during the last wedding I photographed! Good thing I have a spare…
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4) Do you carry the necessary insurance, permits, etc?
Another important question to ask because many (but not all) venues require that all your vendors carry at a minimum general liabitity insurance in case an accident should occur. Also if you’re having your engagement/wedding photos taken on a beach or park, many places require the photographer and/or client to purchase a permit to photograph there commercially. These are usually state or privately owned locations. So again make sure you’re photographer has or is able to obtain the required documents needed to perform the duties as your wedding photographer for that location.
5) Do you take certain photos in addition to your style of photography?
When you’re searching for a wedding photographer online many times you won’t get to see a complete wedding set of photos. What you see on most wedding photographer websites are called highlight photos. Typically these are the best photos from a hand full of weddings they’ve photographed. They’re there to sell the product. What you want to ask if that photographer takes the photos not displayed in their portfolio. For example, a wedding photojournalist style highlights more of the candid side, so ask if they take formal portraits, family portraits, etc if those are picture you want taken. Some photojournalist don’t and some do just make sure you ask.
The pictures the photographer takes alone should not be the only determining factor. Consider everything I mentioned above and ask more questions to clarify any grey areas you might have. Choosing the right wedding photographer for your wedding day is one of the most important investments you’ll make.
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